PRESIDENT’S LETTER TO ALL JUNIOR FAMILIES

Dear Players, Families & Supporters,

It is with a heavy heart, but a strong sense of realism, that I write to all VJFC families confirming that the 2020 EFNL junior football season has been cancelled. The health, safety and welfare of players, officials and spectators has been the paramount consideration in the decision made by the EFNL to cancel the 2020 season and in-turn a decision unanimously supported by the Junior Club Executive. Thank you to all players and families for your understanding and support through what has been a difficult and unprecedented season and time for us all. Whilst the cancellation wasn’t unexpected, it was sudden, so please remain patient as we work through a number of the intricacies and issues.

These are unique and unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in as a community and a football club. I would like to thank all families for their patience and understanding during this very difficult time. It has certainly been an ‘interesting’ year to take the reins at this great club.  We have dealt with issues that no one saw coming, issues that previously have never existed and issues that literally changed by the day (and hour).  It has been challenging and at times frustrating, but we pushed forward with the wellbeing and best interests of the players and club determining our decisions and actions.

To our new players who didn’t get to pull on the mighty Eagles jumper for the first time, we look forward to having you back again next season for your debut game/season. To our departing players who this year didn’t get to pull on the jumper for the last time in 2020, I wish you all the best for your football journey wherever it takes you and hope you have many wonderful memories of your time with the Vermont Junior Football Club. Some of you will have played your whole junior ‘careers’ with us and whilst it’s not the perfect way to finish up, I hope you look back fondly on your time with the mighty Eagles. Whether your focus was premierships, milestone games or just having a kick with your mates, I hope we have provided you with an environment that has allowed you to achieve your personal football goals and most importantly of all, that you have enjoyed your footy journey and had FUN. Fun is a word I bandied around with my U8s-u10s, but it’s also the word that Dusty Martin said changed his career, so remember to enjoy your footy wherever the next chapter takes you…..and you will always be welcome back as part of the Eagles Football Family.

I would like to thank all members of the VJFC Committee for all of their efforts and preparatory work that was undertaken in getting us (and having us) ready for the season.  This year we faced unprecedented challenges and workloads. There is a mountain of work that goes on behind the scenes, a lot of which remains unseen, but the success and smooth running of such a big club doesn’t happen by accident and your efforts directly attribute to our ongoing success….thank you. A special mention to the Executive Committee (Chris Harvey, Rob Wilson, Peter ‘Barny’ Moulder, Anthony O’Shannessy and Angela Brown), whilst we didn’t get to that first bounce, I would like to acknowledge all you have done and the support you have shown me and the club. With the onset of Covid-19 pandemic and the associated issues and constantly changing landscape, we have all commented that to date it was probably the busiest season ever and your efforts and support are sincerely appreciated.

In addition I would like to thank all the Coaches, Team Manager’s and team officials who have undertaken a lot of work in preparation of the season and the commencement of training. Your roles are absolutely critical to the fabric and running of the club. A lot of groundwork and planning was undertaken with us getting so close to the first bounce, your efforts are appreciated and we hope that you will re-apply for your roles next season.

A number of issues are currently being reviewed and determined, however in line with the EFNL request/direction:

Registration Rollover – In line with the EFNL direction, the decision was made to rollover this years' club registration fees to the 2021 season (noting that registrations for next season is fast approaching in November anyway).  With this season cancellation decision literally just made, some of the intricacies are still being determined, however we will make it as easy as possible and are being cognisant of cost pressures that are being faced by many families.  We are aware that not all clubs in the League will be rolling over all of their registration fees, but we have made the decision to do so in support of families and the acknowledgment of the financial burden many families are facing during the current times.  While the club has incurred operating expenses this season, we have elected to absorb these costs.  We have also made the decision to keep our registration fee unchanged for the 2021 season, keeping our fee as one of the lowest in the league and making football at Vermont affordable for all.  Further good news, for any players transitioning from non-competitive to competitive football in 2021, the club will absorb the difference/increase in fees within this registration rollover process.  

Refunds - For the top age players who won’t be returning next season, we will be refunding the club registration fee.  In the coming weeks the club will email those parents of the top age players requesting bank account details so we can process this refund.  The EFNL have advised that they will not be refunding the $18 registration insurance fee that is paid directly to the EFNL upon your child's registration.  The reason for this decision is the league need to cover operating costs that they have already incurred this year.  It is likely that there will be another fee from the EFNL upon registration for the 2021 season, however this will be clarified at a later date.

If there are any families that due to current financial pressures would like an immediate refund, please contact me.  Where refunds are made, these players will be required to re-register for the 2021 season in the normal way come November and the fees will include the additional EFNL insurance registration fee.  

As advised we will provide you with additional information in the short-term when it becomes available.  However if you do have any immediate queries, issues or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly.  The current health issues go beyond football, so please stay safe and be vigilant, look after yourselves and each other and we look forward to having you on board again knowing the Mighty Eagles will be back, bigger and better than ever for season 2021.

Regards,

Russ Ternan
VJFC President
Ph: 0415 043 321
Email: president@vermontjfc.com.au

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By jeremy.brown@benefitachieved.com / Administrator, bbp_keymaster on May 19, 2020